Aberdeen superintendent appeals hearing underway

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN — The appeals hearing for terminated Aberdeen School District superintendent Chester Leigh began Thursday with testimony from school board members Ulaine Williams, Loretta Braylock and Royce Stephens.

These members represented the majority of a 3-2 vote to terminate Leigh in Dec. due to entering into a non-approved $63,263 lease agreement for two new vehicles for the school district’s campus police department.

Stephens filed the motion for his termination and Williams seconded it amidst claims the vehicle purchase violated state statutes and district policy. Claims against Leigh also include insubordination in regards to not paying a December electricity bill for the district.

Hearing officer Nathaniel Armistead of Brookhaven recessed the hearing until Feb. 15 when Leigh will begin his testimony.

Upon completion of the appeals hearing, Armistead will present a summary of the testimony to Aberdeen School Board members to determine if Leigh will be reinstated as superintendent. Leigh’s contract with the district lasts for one more year.